Skip to main content

Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

See other formats

POUCHED JERBOA                                  153

Tasinaniaii Devil, namely, complete extermination i*i Australia,
where both once lived/3 D, hallucatus shows an approach to
Phciscologale in its five-toed hind-feet and slender build.
Phascologale is a genus which, like the last, is usually arboreal
(although not P. wirt/iniae of North Queensland), but is of much
smaller size, the species not exceeding the dimensions of a rat.
They have no spots, but there is sometimes a stripe down the back.
There are thirteen species, which have the same range as the last
genus. The hallux is present though small, but the pouch is
" practically obsolete," though there is a small fold of skin behind
the teats. The rhinarium is naked; the tail is long, " bushy,
crested, or nearly naked" The mammae are four to ten in
number. The dental formula is as in Dasyurus, and the teeth
are not very different in form; sometimes the last prem olar is
wanting. " The members of this genus/' remarks Mr. Thomas,
" evidently take the place in the Australian region filled in the
Oriental by the Tupaiae, and in the Neotropical by the smaller
The genus Sminthopsis comprises not more than four species,
even smaller than the last. The largest species, 8. virgiwiae, is
only 125 mm. in length. The hallux is present, and there is
a well-developed pouch. There are forty-six teeth, as in the
Dasyures. The feet are narrow with granulated or hairy soles,
whereas in PTiascologale they are broad with smooth soleo. The
mammae are eight or ten. The genus ranges through Australia
and Tasmania.
The genus ^dntecMnomys has but a single species, which is a
native of Queensland and New South "Wales. The build is
Jerboa-like, and the animal is, as might be inferred, terrestrial.
The ears are very long, and the limbs elongated ; the hallux is
absent; the teeth are exactly as in Sminthopsis.
*A,ntechinowiys has thirteen dorsal and seven lumbar verte-
brae ; three sacrals and twenty-five caudals, the latter number
being in excess of that of its allies. The stomach is nearly
globular, with approximated orifices; the intestine measured
6"8 inches, a little more than twice the length of the animal
itself. ^4.. lanigera, is a native of East Central Australia, and
appears to be entirely terrestrial in habit, and to progress by a
series of leaps—at any rate when going at full speed.
Professor Spencer, who found examples of this rare species, gives